United Van Lines Shows Kansas Decline
by Isaac Ferguson
Kansans are voting with their feet and the result is that population growth is much faster in more competitive and taxpayer freindly parts of the country. According to the annual migration study conducted by United Van Lines, one of the nation’s largest moving companies, the Midwest and Kansas especially, are losing people at a greater rate than the rest of the nation. Of the people United Van Lines moved in Kansas from January to December of 2005, 52.6% were leaving Kansas while only 47.4% were entering. According to this study, Kansas has the second highest loss of people in the region. In contrast, this study found that 53.5% of the moves handled by United Van Lines in Colorado were people entering into their state. This influx of people puts Colorado ahead of all of the rest of the states in this region.
Kansas also lags behind compared to states that are more competitive and taxpayer friendly. People moving to Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming all are greater than in Kansas. All of theses states excluding Kansas have one thing in common: they have no state personal income tax.
The United States Census Bureau historically verifies these migration trends. According to population data collected by the Census Bureau from 1990 to 2000, Kansas with a population growth rate of only 8.5% had the second slowest population growth rate among Kansas and the surrounding states. Data collected by the Census Bureau continues to show Colorado with a growth rate of 30.6% as being the highest in the region. When compared to these states without a state personal income tax, Kansas and South Dakota come in last in population growth rates.
Kansas isn’t just behind in the region but has also fallen behind Arkansas and Utah in population growth rates. These alarming trends show that Kansas is need of a serious wakeup call. As Kansans continue to leave the Midwest, the elected leadership of Kansas has to take action to ensure these trends don’t continue. This data shows that the more competitive and taxpayer friendly a state is the more likely that state is to experience less people leaving as well as a higher population growth rate. By reducing high taxes, limiting governmental growth, limiting judicial activism and implementing a cap on government spending, Kansas will then begin to reverse these dire trends.